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Micael Grenholm, a Swedish charismactivist, apologist and author.

Micael Grenholm, a Swedish charismactivist, apologist and author.

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Should a Christian Work for the State?

Image: Ramone Romero

Image: Ramone Romero

What jobs can Christians have? Many would probably answer “all, because Christians should spread the light everywhere” but that would be an overstatement. Should Christians for example be prostitutes? Even if Jesus never said “Don’t be a prostitute”, we understand from the Biblical ethics that prostitution is not a very suitable Christian workmanship. In the early church, the Apostolic Tradition from 215 AD lists prostitution as a non-Christian job, along with some other very interesting occupations:

If someone is a gladiator, or one  who teaches those among the gladiators how to fight, or a hunter who is in the wild beast  shows in the arena, or a public official who is concerned with gladiator shows, either he  shall cease, or he shall be rejected. If someone is a priest of idols, or an attendant of idols,  he shall cease or he shall be rejected. A military man in authority must not execute men. If  he is ordered, he must not carry it out. Nor must he take military oath. If he refuses, he shall  be rejected. If someone is a military governor, or the ruler of a city who wears the purple,  he shall cease or he shall be rejected. The catechumen or faithful who wants to become a  soldier is to be rejected, for he has despised God. (Apostolic Tradition 16:7-11)

According to the early church, Christians shouldn’t be gladiators, soldiers or governor. Ron Sider has written more about this in his book The Early Church on Killing. Even “rulers of a city” is ruled out. They kill and hurt people as well, indirectly. The political power is power through violence. The early Anabaptists and the early Pentecostals rejected political power for the same reason as the early Christians: they wanted to change society through love and the Holy Spirit, not by force or swords.

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